85 – Satan Tempts Jesus
Where: Golgotha, Jerusalem, Judea
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Once the crossbeam was in place, a different kind of pain began for those who had been crucified. Gravity pulled the body downward, which put pressure on the nerves of the wrists and resulted in shooting pain. But when the condemned tried to relieve that pain by pushing himself upward, the pressure on the nerves of the feet also resulted in shooting pain.
The representatives of the Sanhedrin arrived to be certain that Jesus had been crucified. They were overheard saying to each other, ‘He claimed to be the Messiah, the son of God, but since he suffers this way he must have been the son of Satan.’ Shaking their heads side-to-side, as folks had done for centuries, they said to Jesus, ‘You who would rebuild the temple in three days, come down and save yourself if you are the Son of God.’
Now, in reality, the representatives of the Sanhedrin were, themselves, acting as the mouthpiece of Satan. Once again Satan was tempting Jesus to doubt God. The same question that was asked after his baptism was put to Jesus again. ‘Prove to everyone that you are the Messiah, by coming down from the cross.’ But Jesus was determined to live by faith, not by sight.
Others were overheard saying, ‘You saved Lazarus, now save yourself’, and ‘If you are the king of the Jews, then save yourself’, and ‘He said he was God’s son, let see if God will rescue him’. These kinds of comments were overheard by some of the women who had followed Jesus, and who were gathered not far from the cross. One of the women was Mary, his mother, and another was Mary Magdalene.
As Jesus watched, he realized that even looking at his mother was a temptation of Satan. Why should she suffer so? ‘I could call on the Father’, thought Jesus, ‘and come down from the cross so that she will know that I am The Messiah.’ Instead, he saw that John was quietly standing with the women. Jesus wanted to be sure that his mother was cared for by someone who was a disciple, so he looked his mother in the eye, nodded toward John, then looked John in the eye and nodded toward his mother, took a breath and said ‘Behold your son, your mother’. Thus Jesus established her “adoption” by John.
Even one of the men that was being crucified at this time, had been mouthing the words of Satan. ‘If you are the Messiah, save yourself and us, and we will fight for you.’ But the other condemned man, despite what he saw, believed in Jesus, and asked that Jesus remember him when Jesus began his reign in the Kingdom. And Jesus promised that they would be together.
No questions have been asked yet.